How Tim Rosa is building brand management at healthcare challenger Transcarent

PALO ALTO, Calif.: Tim Rosa sees his marketing challenge at Transcarent, a digital healthcare startup, as similar to the one he faced at FitBit, a fitness tracker.

In both cases, the companies have largely created categories, but because Transcarent “comes up against some really big companies, it’s also a challenger brand,” said Rosa, chief marketing officer.

Transcarent, founded in 2020, describes itself as a “new, different and better company in the health and care experience for employees of self-insured employers and their families”.

The new company offers “high-value healthcare providers and solutions, transparent information and trusted advice in as little as 60 seconds, 24/7/365, from the palm of their hand, often at no cost to members and at a lower cost to their employer,” according to the company.

Rosa said one of the main reasons he joined the company was the opportunity to work with founder and CEO Glen Tullman. The title of an article from Inc. published this month on Tullman reads: “Meet the man on a mission to make healthcare radically transparent.” Before founding Transcarent, Tullman started Livongo Health, a digital health company aimed at helping people manage their diabetes, blood pressure and weight.

“He’s kind of like the Elon Musk of healthcare,” said Rosa, 50, who joined Transcarent in April. “He has this incredible drive and vision to create change, and it’s really powerful.”

The other draw, he said, is the opportunity to try to fix a broken healthcare system.

“It’s a horrible user experience when you’re dealing with a healthcare need, and I think what Glen is executing at Transcarent is [creating a great experience that] puts the member first and really helps guide them through their care journey,” said Rosa, who is based in San Francisco.

Rosa said his first task was to build a brand management team, which is similar to what he did at FitBit, where he served as the first head of marketing. When he left FitBit, there were around 130 people on the marketing team, he said.

At Transcarent, he plans to hire around fifteen people. The company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., but likely to move to San Francisco, has about 260 employees, according to John Hallock, vice president of communications.

The company recently launched its behavioral healthcare and oncology services and plans to introduce more offerings in the coming months, Rosa said.

In trying to create a category, “You have to align with the mantra first and then keep repeating it,” Rosa said.

Cathy W. Howerton